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Powerman5000 Takes To Facebook To Complain About Similar Sounding Final Fantasy Song, Fans Rebut Them

from the your-fans-would-know dept

I imagine, as a musician, it must be common to come across other music that sounds somewhat similar to one's own. I would think that not all genres of music are created equal in this respect. Jazz, for instance, while sharing common elements across the genre, seems to have enough instruments and space within the music for unique expression that perhaps similarities occur less often or are less severe than, say, industrial rock, which seems to have some more rigid common core elements. How much similarity is there in songs from Ramstein and Nine Inch Nails, for instance, or in songs from Nine Inch Nails and Powerman5000? Or in songs from Powerman5000 and Final Fantasy XIV...wait, what?

Fans of Powerman5000, a band that reached its popularity pinnacle years back with its hit song When Worlds Collide, may already be aware that the band took to its Facebook page to complain about a new boss battle song in Final Fantasy XIV.

Really? Got to say that the level of unimaginative theft that was used in creating this music for #finalfantasyXIV is...

Posted by Powerman5000 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The song that now appears in the game came via an update from Square Enix recently. That song, which you can see in the video above, is supposedly a "straight up rip off" of When Worlds Collide. See below if you're not familiar with the song.




Are they similar? Hell yes. But it seems to me that they're similar in the same way that When World's Collide is similar to any number of Nine Inch Nails songs. It's industrial rock of the same sort. In fact, I have a feeling that if the Final Fantasy song didn't include the throaty intro before the bridge, this probably never would have triggered a response. But what it most certainly is not is any kind of blatant note for note ripoff. It's not even really that close.

And, while I'm not a fan of the genre, the fans of Powerman5000 certainly are, and it seems a great many of them are trying to figure out what the hell the band is complaining about. Some snippets of comments left on their Facebook post:

"Sorry, but no. If you guys think that song is "a straight up ripoff" of your old 1999 song, then you've seriously got a slight case of some major brain damage from playing your own shitty music too loud. They sounds completely different."

"Soken (the composer) loves metal. And if anything PM5K, you should be happy that he took inspiration from your song. It's not a ripoff, but there's influence there, and as a result of this influence, your music has now reached an MMO playerbase."

This post is basically saying every industrial metal song is the same ever. I bet I can find at least 3 Static-X and Rammstein songs that sound like When Worlds Collide. I don't need to point out that Worlds Collide also sounds like something Nine Inch Nails would have performed years prior."
And that really is only a sampling; it goes on and on from there. And these are, again, people following Powerman5000's page. They are fans of the band and fans of the genre and in a perfect position to comment on the similarities of the songs, which most seem to indicate are, "meh, maybe the composer listened to you guys once or something, but it's not a rip off."

Public shaming is a useful tool, much more so in many circumstances than going the legal route. And, to be clear, I have not seen anything to indicate that the band is preparing to go the legal route here. But the public shaming thing only works if the public, or at least your fans, agree with your premise.


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  • identicon
    Jack, 16 Mar 2016 @ 3:11pm

    This must be old news

    There is no way this isn't at least a decade late - this must be from like 2003 and be from MySpace, because I refuse to believe Powermann5000 is a thing anymore. This sounds like someone just trolling using a shitty one-hit-wonder band's from the 90's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2016 @ 3:15pm

    About ten years ago, I was dodging bullets in Tacoma and I saw a marquis above a jazz venue with only about 30 seats announcing that Powerman 5000 was going to be there. The show did not sell out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    blogagog (profile), 16 Mar 2016 @ 3:39pm

    The real crime is he stole the name from George Pal!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2016 @ 3:49pm

    Thought 1: how the hell does this work in that fight?

    Thought 2: Why are they trying to gape NIN, poorly?

    Thought 3: Wait, Powerman5000? Is that some kinda of penis pump?

    Thought 4: "I've useshd thesh producsh before, and if the Powerman Fivethoshand really works, your shittin' on a goldmine Alixsh"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2016 @ 4:04pm

    Sux to be German

    " That song, which you can see in the video above, is supposedly a "straight up rip off" of When Worlds Collide. See below if you're not familiar with the song."

    Or not...

    "Unfortunately, this video is not available in your country because it could contain music, for which we could not agree on conditions of use with GEMA."
    If you are German or have trouble watching the video then try this link:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfzlh_powerman-5000-when-worlds-collide_music

    If that doesn't work try to google video search the song and make it known which links work in each country because geoblocking sux. If companies can access different countries ignoring boarders then people should be able to access content at the same level.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Mar 2016 @ 4:13pm

    That's what happens

    That's what happens when a bands in decline
    They summon Streisand in a seance at night
    Hope their band, grows some fans, cause they need funds tonight
    One hit wonders never pay rent on time.
    End up homeless all they got is a dime.
    Well that's what happens when a bands in decline

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Mar 2016 @ 1:05am

    Thank the FSM that we get to listen to these people bitch for another 150 yrs how this song stole that songs sound.

    Think about it, we are locking up 3 & 4 notes as the property of a singular artist who then get to collect rent from anyone else who happens to put those few notes in the same order.

    How long before musicians have to hire a legal team to jiggle notes around to find arrangements that are noninfringing? See also: The reason names of new meds are so damn screwy

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2016 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      ...How long before musicians have to hire a legal team to jiggle notes around to find arrangements that are noninfringing?...

      I just heard this week a very good example. I didn't catch the name of the song but the act was "Five Seconds Of Summer". The song I heard had 24 bars that sounded familiar but it took me a few hours to realize why: those 24 bars were from Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf. Hopefully the songwriters and producers got permission, or at least Duran Duran and their management is cool with it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 17 Mar 2016 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      There exist companies whose business is to write music that is as similar as possible to existing music while remaining noninfringing. That's been going on for a while.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2016 @ 6:32am

    "blurred lines" effect

    after the Blurred Lines lawsuit against Robin Thicke & Pharrell, bands/estates are looking for their big payout for similarities in songs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Avatar28 (profile), 17 Mar 2016 @ 7:38am

    boss battle video?

    Anybody got a link to the boss battle video? I would assume there's at least a clip of it in their Facebook post but I'm at work and FB is blocked.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PM5k, 17 Mar 2016 @ 9:49am

    PM5K doesn't deserve all of this hate

    It seems like many people are commenting who do not have much experience in the genre. You're free to comment, but then, it shouldn't be taken too seriously. I don't have any problems identifying songs between Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, and Powerman 5000. I don't even think they're in the same genres, with NIN as Industrial Rock, Rammstein is more of a German Euro-dance Industrial Metal (loosely metal,really), and PM5K is more of an electronic hard rock.

    Further, just because someone happens to follow some page on Facebook, that doesn't mean they are a fan. Who would consider anyone a fan of a band who would say this about them "you've seriously got a slight case of some major brain damage from playing your own shitty music too loud?" Really? Fans of PM5K consider their music shitty? Then I guess I'm not a fan.

    I can hear distinct similarities to their one hit. I don't agree that it is a straight rip-off. But then, who can say how close one needs to be to achieve that? Perhaps they could have just said something about hey, this sounds like us a bit, and left it at that instead of complaining.

    Finally, I would like to say that, yes, PM5K is still around. I don't think they were ever really big. Neither were Gravity Kills or Stabbing Westward, for example. They made some hits, but I've only seen them at smaller venues. This isn't pop music; NIN seems to be one of the anomalies in the genre.

    Have a nice day!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 17 Mar 2016 @ 11:47am

      Re: PM5K doesn't deserve all of this hate

      I don't even think they're in the same genres, with NIN as Industrial Rock, Rammstein is more of a German Euro-dance Industrial Metal (loosely metal,really), and PM5K is more of an electronic hard rock.

      Those sound like microgenres...

      Perhaps they could have just said something about hey, this sounds like us a bit, and left it at that instead of complaining.

      Yeah, but... they didn't. If they had done that this wouldn't have been newsworthy, but the article is about what they actually did.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Mar 2016 @ 3:14am

      Re: PM5K doesn't deserve all of this hate

      "I don't have any problems identifying songs between"

      I don't have a problem differentiating between Jay-Z, Common and De La Soul, but I'd never argue they weren't all hip-hop. Why do you have a problem with those bands all being the same genre just because you can tell the difference? Do you like any genres where all bands literally sound the same?

      "Rammstein is more of a German Euro-dance Industrial Metal (loosely metal,really)"

      If you're having to invent genres to describe a band, they're either insanely unique, or you're trying to make excuses. All are rock bands, all fit under the subgenres of "industrial" and "metal" to some degree. Trying to argue further subgenres is just being pedantic.

      "Further, just because someone happens to follow some page on Facebook, that doesn't mean they are a fan"

      This is true. Just as having someone as a "friend" doesn't mean you consider them a friend in terms of real life, so "liking" something just means you subscribe to their page, not that you're a fan. Why you would subscribe to a page dedicated to someone you don't like is up to the individual.

      In reality, those pages are public, so I'd guess that the commenter hasn't liked the page, but responded when a friend or a group he is subscribed to shared the post.

      "Finally, I would like to say that, yes, PM5K is still around"

      Clearly, else we wouldn't be reading this crap.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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